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Investors in Cerus (NASDAQ:CERS) have made a decent return of 59% over the past five years

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) share price down 24% in the last month. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. In that time, it is up 59%, which isn't bad, but is below the market return of 68%. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 35% drop, in the last year.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for Cerus

Cerus isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

For the last half decade, Cerus can boast revenue growth at a rate of 26% per year. That's well above most pre-profit companies. It's good to see that the stock has 10%, but not entirely surprising given revenue shows strong growth. If you think there could be more growth to come, now might be the time to take a close look at Cerus. Of course, you'll have to research the business more fully to figure out if this is an attractive opportunity.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Cerus shareholders are down 35% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 16%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 10% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Cerus , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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